The Theme Of Prejudice In 'To Kill A Mockingbird'

1437 Words6 Pages
Cynthia Kwan
Ms. Whittaker
November 27, 2015
Prejudice is something that can blind one’s perspective and cause people to misconceive based on their ignorance. People make assumptions on others by the way they look, the cars they drive or the homes that they live in even before they actually speak to them. These assumptions can cloud their judgement. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, prejudice is a central conflict and characters are constantly exposed to it. The narrator, Scout, is young at the beginning of this novel but as she grows up, as the novel progresses, she starts to see that the town isn’t as perfect as she thinks. She is surrounded by prejudice and ignorance all the time. The town of Maycomb is a
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In the novel, Scout is a tomboy and because she does not have a mother as she is dead so she doesn’t really have any female influence growing up. Scout looks up to Jem and wants to be like him. One day, Jem says, “I declare to the Lord you’re gettin’ more like a girl every day!”(69). Scout is outraged by this and takes the word as an insult. Also, in Maycomb females should be wearing dresses and acting lady-like, nevertheless Scout likes to wear overalls and play with Jem and Dill which can be seen as very un-ladylike. “’What are you doing in those overalls? You should be in a dress and camisole, young lady!’”(135). In addition, females are not considered as equal and are thought to be too frail to do jobs that men do. In the novel, Jem asks "’…why don’t people like us and Miss Maudie ever sit on the juries?’... ‘For one thing, Miss Maudie can’t serve on a jury because she’s a woman –‘ ‘You mean women in Alabama can’t—?’ …’I guess it’s to protect our frail ladies from sordid cases like Tom’s.’” (296). Even though Atticus is not really racist or classist, he is somewhat sexist and believes that women should remain out of the courtroom. Overall, society believes that women should stay at home, and shouldn’t do things that males…show more content…
The first example is Boo Radley. In the novel, Boo Radley isn’t seen until the very end but we hear about him throughout the entire novel. The whole Radley family suffers social prejudice because Boo hasn't been seen in years, and people start making rumors of what happened. According to the rumors, he is a scary guy that went crazy a while ago. But at the end of the novel, we see that he is a kind man that has been shut up his entire life and doesn’t like being in the spotlight (both literally and metaphorically). Furthermore, many people in Maycomb are extremely classist and believe that anyone that is below them shouldn’t be seen with the common folk. Aunt Alexandra is a character that shows this; “She had said Indeed Not, but this time she would give her reasons: ‘But I want to play with Walter, Aunty, why can’t I?’ She took off her glasses and stared at me. ‘I’ll tell you why,’ she said. ‘Because—he—is¬—trash, that’s why you can’t play with him. I’ll not have you around him, picking up his habits and learning Lord-knows-wat.’”(301). Aunt Alexandra hasn’t even met Walter Cunningham yet but is already judging him. She knows that he is a lower “social class” than the Finches and thinks that Walter will be a bad influence on Scout so she forbids Scout from playing with him. Finally, the town of Maycomb is set up into a cast system. Even young Jem understands the different groups of people in
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